Conditions don't always coincide with opportunity. My destination this past Sunday probably should have reflected this, but I ignored USGS stream flows and took advantage of the opportunity to spend a day chasing cutthroat trout on a favorite stretch of Front Range Colorado stream.
Although it doesn't look high, the creek was running about double what is typically considered fishable and the conditions made wading difficult while also limiting fishing opportunities.
A stimulator was the fly of the day (I didn't even break out any of the home-ties). A few fish were brought to hand on bead head pheasant tails and bead head hares ears with a small split shot, but most were caught on top on the big bushy dry fly, which was quite satisfying given the high flow. Fish were mostly holding in softer water next to deeper, faster troughs and, for the most part, actively feeding subsurface.
Happy enough with the fishing for a celebratory streamside lunch, I relaxed with an egg, cheese, spinach, roasted pepper, croissant sandwich. Food always seems to taste better when you're tired and resting next to a cold rushing mountain stream.
The columbines (our state flower) were in full bloom, which made for a nice backdrop.
After a rough day fishing that past too quickly, it was unfortunately time to head home. The season is just starting on this small creek so there is plenty to look forward to. Flows are dropping quickly and soon wading will be a much easier task. I was glad to be able to hook into a few healthy trout with the difficult conditions.
There was some kind of biking event going on which made the walk out a bit interesting. One participant broke their collarbone in the parking lot. That probably made for a less than fun afternoon for that participant. Everyone else seemed to be having a good time.
I was too busy thinking about the chance to get on the water to even consider the potential summer Sunday afternoon traffic. I was able to avoid most of it by taking the frontage roads. Although slower, the frontage roads provide a more relaxing escape from the mountains.
I might not get many days to fish this year, so when the opportunity arises, I will be getting out and enjoying my time on the water. Regardless of how many chances you get to get out, enjoy it and appreciate every chance you get.